The 10th Amendment will be a hot topic in the current legislative session as many lawmakers see it as a way to oppose President Barack Obama's federal health care overhaul. The latest example of that comes from state Rep. Joe Harrison, R-Napoleonville. His House Concurrent Resolution 24 "claims state sovereignty for Louisiana under the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and demands that the federal government cease promulgating unconstitutional mandates." Harrison cites a 1992 U.S. Supreme Court case — New York v. United States — that found Congress "may not simply commandeer the legislative and regulatory processes of the states."
State's rights are also at the heart of Harrison's House Concurrent Resolution 26. It memorializes Congress to end the ban on oil and gas production in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). "Coastal states should have the right to determine on their own whether such drilling, exploration and production should be permitted along their coasts," Harrison says. According to the U.S Department of Interior, an estimated 86 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas lie beneath the OCS. Harrison says the OCS moratorium will only "artificially limit oil and natural gas supply and thereby increase energy prices." — Jeremy Alford